Regular commenter ‘Dubtoon’ has sent this article in for us all to ponder. Have a read and let us know what you think.
Now let me start off by clarifying something first and foremost.
I am as sick as any of the constant strife surrounding our club as a result of Mike Ashley’s ownership and I don’t want to just stir the pot and get yet another debate going about all he’s done at this club.
We all know he’s made some huge mistakes and made some good moves, whatever the motive, such as improving the youth set-up and sorting the finances out.
What I really want to talk about is this: Pardew’s relationship with Ashley.
When Pardew was appointed there was a pinch of confusion, a dash of outrage and good spoonful of disappointment. Overall I think the Toon Army were underwhelmed that the club appointed someone with a questionable record after sacking a man who had done a very good job for us. I know quite a few fans of other clubs who wanted us relegated for the way Chris Hughton was treated.
When stories came out at the start of the year about Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew stumbling out of a casino having blown a huge wad, a large amount of apathy towards Pardew turned negative and he was painted with the same tainted brush. This wasn’t helped by his broken promises over transfers and he was dubbed a ‘yes man’ and a ‘patsy’.
Now that the football side seems to have taken a turn for the better, this has been tempered with some genuine goodwill.
Many, myself included, are of the opinion that he copes very well in a nigh untenable situation. He has come out with veiled criticisms of the regime and distanced himself as much as possible without risking his own position.
Why then are there photos coming out with Mike Ashley, Derek Llambias and Alan Pardew back at the craps table? Now we don’t know if these are real or when they are from but it raises an interesting question for me; does their relationship really matter if the public argument was a charade? Not that I’m saying it was, adults should be able to put arguments behind them and work together after all.
With things looking rosy on the pitch for now, and the thirst for Ashley’s blood relatively subdued, there is not a huge outcry. As long as these men can work together on the things that matter is that not what is most important? Whether they are best friends or boss and grunt, it is good to see Pardew stand up for what he believes needs to be done at this club. If he feels comfortable doing this because of a close relationship with Ashley is that such a bad thing? Will it allow for long term stability?
That is something that this club has lacked and has desired since the days of the late great Sir Bobby (RIP), and something that I for one will take regardless of how it comes about.
Would you do the same though?
This may be seen as making a deal with the devil by some, but maybe this relationship is the best way to get some extra patience, investment and support from our beleaguered owner? Long term I think we’d all rather see someone else at the top of the food chain. No one knows the owner’s true intentions or the true nature of his relationship with our manager, but with even the players coming out and praising this period of calm and it’s influence on the team, is it time to let sleeping dogs lie?
So long as Pardew protects the interests of the club from ulterior motive as much as he can, what more can we hope for as long as Mike is in charge?
I for one don’t care how he does it, I’m just glad to be able to enjoy a break from the drama of this eternal soap opera.